Mother claimed £21k benefits

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A mother has escaped jail despite pleading guilty to benefit fraud totalling more than £21,000.

Lisa Beard was sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, when she appeared before magistrates in Preston.

The court heard that she had claimed the extra cash in Job Seekers Allowance, housing benefit and also council tax benefit.

She claimed Job Seekers Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions on the basis that she was an unemployed single parent but failed to declare her partner was living with her.

Beard, 41, of Dickens Road, Coppull, near Chorley, initially denied the allegation when she first appeared at Preston Magistrates’ Court but she pleaded guilty to all three offences at trial.

Coun Graham Dunn, who oversees benefits payments for Chorley Council said: “I would urge anyone who is aware that someone may be claiming benefits they are not entitled to, to ring the hotline number on 0800 854 440.”